This PhD thesis investigates the influence of the regional financing systems in Spain on the evolution of the territorial agendas of the mainstream Basque and Catalan nationalist parties, the Basque Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista Vasco, PNV) and Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, CDC). Spain offers the opportunity to compare two different models of fiscal decentralisation and their significance for the political evolution of two contrasting nationalist movements. While Catalonia forms part of the common financing system, which gives the regions relatively limited tax-raising competences and involves substantial revenue transfers from central government, the Basque region raises almost all of its own taxes under a separate system of extensive fiscal autonomy (the Concierto Económico or Economic Agreement). At different times since the late 1990s, both the PNV and CDC have sought a fundamental reconfiguration of their respective territories’ relationship with Spain. The question posed is why the form of accommodationist politics practised by the PNV and CDC in the 1980s and 1990s has been transformed since then, leading to shifts towards pro-sovereignty agendas, which embrace a spectrum of potential projects ranging from some degree of statehood and political sovereignty within Spain through to full independence. This thesis investigates the issue of regional financing as one explanatory factor. Based on an extensive programme of elite interviews with current and former politicians and civil servants in the Basque and Catalan regions, it is argued that in both cases, albeit in different ways and to different degrees, the regional financing systems have played a fundamental role in influencing the nationalist parties’ evolving territorial agendas.
|Award date||7 Oct 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Dec 2016|